Private George Hindle 16940
1st Battalion Border Regiment
by William Ferguson
George Hindle was born in Blackburn. The ‘ Telegraph’ the town’s newspaper for 25th September 1915 gave his address as being 224 Whalley Old Road, Little Harwood.
He was 1 of 12 children. He was a pupil of St Alban's School. When he left St. Alban's Higher Grade School he worked for the Blackburn Co-operative society. He was employed in the drapery department.
George was 18 when the First World War started. He enlisted with the Border Regiment early that November.When his training was completed he joined the 1st Battalion. His first combat experience was to be in Gallipoli.
Of his soldering his family has a detailed knowledge because he regularly wrote home. This correspondence is now kept by Alban Hindle. George’s letters give much insight to this aspect of his life. Alban Hindle says that the letters tell about his barracks, his troopship and about the Gallipoli trenches.
I first thought that Private Hindle arrived in Gallipoli on the 6th of August but I have since discovered that he in fact arrived in the peninsula 8
weeks or so before the Sulva Bay offensive of early August 1915. George, like many of his fellow soldiers,was seeing action for the first time. My father didnot always know the names of the places where he had fought. Alban also indicates that this was the case with many soldiers at Gallipoli.
George took part in the August offensive at Sulva Bay.It was to be an attack on all three fronts at the sametime to break through the Turkish lines and bring about their defeat. In so doing, achieve the campaign objectives of forcing Turkey out of the war and opening a supply route to Russia through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea.
The assault began at 3:50 in the afternoon of the 6th August. When I saw the terrain where this action tookplace I was reminded of Darwen Moors. It is open scrubland with few trees growing there. The difference was that it was bigger, dryer, hotter and steeper.
Documentaries describe the Sulva Bay landing as aconfused scene. They tell about troops not being landed in the right places. They suggest that few knew what was going on. Orders were unclear and despite there being little Turkish activity the orderto advance was not given. Unfortunately, the indecisiveness of the British commander lost the impetus of the attack. The wait gave the Turkish commander time to move his forces into a stronger defensive positions and consequently the British forces came under heavy enemy fire.
On August 21st, the Border Regiment were given orders to take Scimitar Hill. Private Hindle was in this advance. The family knew what happened during it because Corporal Gayes wrote a letter to them about the events of that day. These events are told in Reg
Smith’s book and come from information given to him byAlban Hindle. We learn from Corporal Gayes that they advanced over open countryside. The section hadreached a good place to stop and assess their progress. Corporal Gayes said, 'We got to a place where we could get a breath.'
It was then that shrapnel bullets hit George. He was wounded in the lower abdomen; Gayes thought his pelvis was broken. The troops bandaged him up as best they could. They gave him a bottle of water and placed him under cover. His unit advanced. Nineteen year old Private George Hindle died later from his wounds.
There are lots of soldiers who died in this campaign who have no known grave. George was not one of them.His grave is known to the family. His name is recorded on the Helles Memorial at the Gallipoli Battleground in Turkey.
The British evacuated their forces from Gallipoli in late 1915 and it had been completed successfully by January 1916.
It was the postmistress of Little Harwood who suggested that there should be a memorial to the men of the district who had been killed fighting in the First World War. George Hindle's parents supported this idea and were on the memorial committee. A clock tower was to be the memorial and on its sides would be placed the names of those who had perished. On the 11th August 1923 the Little Harwood Clock Tower War Memorial was unveiled. The proceedings were filmed and shown later at the Star cinema. The Clock, as it became known stands to this day and is fitting tribute to the men from Little Harwood who fought in that war of so long ago.
Gallipoli - The Turning Point by Mustafa Askin.
Published. Turkey 2002
Little Harwood Public war Memorial by Reginald Smith,
Published Blackburn 2004
There is further information about this soldier in the
‘ History of the Border Regiment at Gallipoli.’ The
book was published in 2002.
Text and photography of Little Harwood and Gallipoli kindly donated by Mr. William Ferguson.
To read more about Private George Hindle on William Ferguson's website click here.
To read the obituary card for Private George Hindle click here.